Ramaphosa announces new lockdown regulations for festive season and new hotspot areas

Johannesburg – President Cyril Ramaphosa this evening briefed the nation on government’s latest response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ramaphosa said that the culminative amount of positive cases in SA now stands at 866 127.

This means there has been an increase of 5163 new cases reported in the last 24 hours.

Ramaphosa stressed that social distancing is not taking place at mass gatherings.

“Many people are not wearing masks, alcohol is being consumed at these super spreader events,” Ramaphosa said.

The president pointed out the recent Rage festival that was held in Balito in KZN earlier this month which saw thousands  infected with the virus.

“The festive season now poses the greatest threat to the health and safety of our nation and a threat to our economy,” Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa urged citizens to remember the Easter holiday’s from earlier this year and pleaded with the nation to adhere to safety protocols.

Ramaphosa said that cabinet has declared two new hotspot areas, additional to Nelson Mandela Bay.

New hotspot areas: 

  • Garden Route district
  • Sarah Baartman District.

Ramaphosa said the restrictions will be the same for these new areas that have taken place in Nelson Mandela Bay with immediate effect, taking place from midnight tonight.


Beaches and parks will also be affected, the president said.

Eastern Cape and Garden beaches will be closed from 16 December until 3 January 2021.

Beaches in KZN will be closed on 16, 25, 26 and 31 December 2020 as well as the 1, 2 and 3rd of January 2021.

Beaches in the Western Cape and Northern Cape will remain open.

“All gatherings must include adequate ventilation, social distancing, wearing of masks and provision of hand-sanitiser.   Due to the potential for transmission, all post-funeral gatherings, including ‘after-tears’ parties, are prohibited,” Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa further said, “We will not allow large numbers of people congregating in any one place without proper controls or protocols in place.   These festive season restrictions will be reviewed in early January based on the state of the pandemic across the country.”

The president also announced limited hours for alcohol sales.

He said, “The third area of focus over this period is to prevent super-spreader events and reduce the burden on health care services due to irresponsible alcohol consumption.”

New curfew for SA: 

Non-essential establishments, including restaurants and bars, will have to close at 10pm so that staff and patrons can get home before the enforcement of the curfew.

The curfew is meant to prevent gatherings that go on late into the night, while enabling restaurants, bars and taverns to continue to operate and earn an income.

Ramaphosa also said, “We should all remember that the hours of curfew also apply to Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. This means that we will all need to make changes to the way in which we celebrate these occasions.”

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